For our prompt of “Flamingo” today, I decided to do a quick little sketch in three colors of one admiring its own shadow. As a kid, I was always really fascinated by shadows. I found a book at the library once on how to make shadow puppets with your hands. I still remember feeling like a magician as I clasped my thumbs together and flapped my other fingers madly about to make a flying bird appear. Or, placing my hands back to back with one in a claw-like gesture to make deer antlers. If you’re rather graceful, or indeed double-jointed, you can also make a shadow that looks a bit like a flamingo. Though mine always looked a bit more like a duck. But, no matter what appeared, it still felt magical. I think I feel the same way today, as I dive in quickly to sketch something. I’ve no idea if I’ll get close to what I’m imagining or if something else entirely will happen, but I know I’ll always have a blast in the process! And it’s always super fun to find out what will make an appearance each day.
Today, as I was standing outside my building, I looked up at the foggy gray sky. It’s the kind of winter sky that’s a bit gloomy as all of the colors fight valiantly to be seen, but ultimately fail. Everything is cast into a strange black and white dream that turns the scene into film noir. It’s actually rather beautiful and intriguing. As I was standing there looking at the faded buildings around me, I heard a whoosh above my head and looked up again to see a flock of birds. They were just silhouettes against the impossibly gray sky, but thrilling to watch. While I watching, one bird strayed from the flock and went in the other direction. This change in the story was quite noticeable and so my eyes continuing to follow this silhouette of a bird to see where he was going. The flock had disappeared over the building and just this one little bird was left wandering around the sky. The visual was so very cool, because it was all just a play of shadow puppets. I then realized the bird wasn’t determined to head off on his own, he was only uncertain. He’d somehow lost his group. I felt sorry for this little bird, but then another whoosh came from above and the flock zoomed in and collected him.
I was instantly relieved and glad that this particular tale had a happy ending. That’s my favorite kind. I’m not sure how long I stood there watching this show. No doubt, longer than I should have, since I had a lot of work to do today. Truly, it’s a wonder I get anything done at all, because I often take time to enjoy the simplest of things. But, these are the moments that thrill me most. The simple kind that can be so easily ignored. Birds fly overhead all of the time, and I’m normally just looking down and not paying full attention. But today, when I looked up, I watched a story unfold. It was a very simple story indeed, but in that film noir light, it suddenly felt epic and amazing. I was initially bummed about a day so foggy and gray that it stole all of my lovely color. But, by simply shifting my gaze, I realized that the show hadn’t ended at all. It had simply moved upward to the sky. Where I could watch with sheer wonder and amazement as, once again, I enjoyed the magic of shadows.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Hansa Yellow Medium, Opus (Vivid Pink) and Indigo. Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
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